As a Tennessee resident who makes a living working on the water, you face heightened injury risks compared to workers in many other professions. However, depending on circumstances, you may also have recourse if your injury is serious enough to disable you and make you unable to work.
Per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, if you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to get compensation through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The LHWCA is a federal law that gives you a means through which to seek compensation to cover medical care and vocational rehabilitation after suffering an injury either on the water or in adjoining areas used for loading, unloading, repairing or building boats.
Understanding the LHWCA
If your injury was one that led to your death, the LHWCA also includes stipulations about survivor death benefits. In addition to covering injuries, the compensation available through the LHWCA also typically covers occupational diseases that may lead to your death.
Qualifying under the LHWCA
The LHWCA should apply to you if you hold the most common maritime jobs. More specifically, it should apply to you if you make your living working as a longshore worker, a shipbuilder, a ship repairer or a harbor construction worker. In some cases, the LHWCA may also apply to you as a non-maritime worker. This may hold true if you are not a maritime worker, but you experience your injury while performing work on the navigable waters of the United States.
It is worth noting that there are also certain individuals to whom the LHWCA does not apply. Seamen, government employees and employees who suffered injuries while under the influence all fall into this category.